Types of Furnace Filters Available

Choose the best type for your central air unit

Here we are going to talk about the several broad categories of furnace filters available. Each different one has pluses and minuses, so choose the kind that fits best into your own situation and needs. For example, if it is difficult for you to go outside and spray water through furnace filters periodically, because you live in a high-rise, disposable filters maybe your best bet. In case you just stumbled here randomly and don't know what furnace filters are, they are filters that are placed throughout an HVAC system to filter dirt, allergens or other dangerous airbourne  particles. They are a necessary part of your central air system, and need to be replaced or cleaned periodically, usually every one to three months.

Disposable furnace filters

These are the most abundant filters available.  They are available in a wide variety of stores, from home improvement stores, to discount department stores, and even supermarkets and convenience marts. They require a minimal amount of work; you just replace them, you don't have to clean them. They also often offer less benefits than the other types of filters available.

Activated Carbon Furnace Filters

Sandwiched in between the filter's outer layers is a thin black layer of carbon. Carbon gives the filter the extra capacity to remove minute hazardous compounds in the air. If the air in your area has high levels of certain kinds of toxins that activated carbon filters handle, check out carbon filters.

Electrostatic Furnace Filters

These filters utilize static electricity to enhance the air cleaning process. Similar to the technology used by the Sharper Image Ionic Breeze and the Oreck XL Air Purifier, the charged particles tend to attract dirt and other particles in the air, thereby making the air cleaner than normal filters. Although the principle of electric poles is utilized, these filters are of course not connected to a power source and therefore not dangerous to handle.

Pleated furnace filters

"Pleated" is more of an aspect than a type of furnace filter. The pleated quality gives more surface area to the outside space, which allows more particles to be handled than the flat kind.


HEPA filters are a very well-made, high quality filter that are especially suited to cleaning allergens out of the air. Their main drawbacks are that they impede air flow throughout the system, they increase noise, and are generally more costly than other types of filters.

Next Steps

While these categories I give may not be all-encompassing, it gives you a starting-off point to start looking on the Internet, searching in stores, or consulting with your HVAC care professional.

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Comments 2 comments

Furnace Filters 6 years ago

It's true that HEPA filters restrict air flow. I suggest installing a separate air filter in the house that uses a HEPA filtration, perhaps just in the bedrooms. One of my friends said that HEPA furnace filters do a better job than any of their allergy medications she is taking.

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toneyahuja 5 years ago from India

thanks for such vast information on types of furnace filters. whereas all furnace filters are useful according to situations and maintainable. but Electrostatic Furnace Filters are easy to keep. http://www.airsponge.com

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